Good George Hand Sanitiser

Operation Helping Hands

19 March, 2020

You may have heard through the grapevine that we've started to distill trial batches of hand sanitiser. Good news travels fast, but not as fast as our team who are rolling up their sleeves and putting our distillery to a different use. Watch this space for news on how we're going to be sharing our latest creation!

"We've decided to change lanes this week and put our distillery to a different use"

"We've decided to change lanes this week and put our distillery to a different use"

NZ Herald Article

Hamilton-based brewery Good George Brewing is switching some of its distillery to make hand sanitiser, in response to shortages across the country.

"We've decided to change lanes this week and put our distillery to a different use," the brewery posted on social media.

"We're kicking off trial batches of hand sanitiser so that more Kiwis can stay safe. Wish us luck, how hard can it be?" The brewery, well known for its craft beer offerings, set up a distillery where it has been tinkering with making gins and other spirits for the past few months.

With the coronavirus pandemic leading to an unprecedented demand for hand sanitiser in New Zealand, the Hamilton brewers decided to put the distillery to use for the greater good.

"We got the idea from a customer who said they saw others doing it overseas so we looked into it and decided to give it a go," Good George Brewing owner Jason Macklow told the Herald.

"We've got a still onsite in Hamilton and we make gin and whiskey in it. We're about 10 months into our whiskey programme."

Desperate times call for desperate measures and, experiencing the hand sanitiser shortages firsthand when he tried to buy some for the team, Macklow decided the whiskey was going to have to wait.

Today is day two of the first trial batch of hand sanitiser and, all going to plan, Good George expects to have 1000 litres of this suddenly much sought after commodity ready by Monday.

"We're speeding through it and converting some gear to be able to manage it," he said.

"Our goal is to continue doing it as quickly as we can."

The brewery owner says the company is not going to solve the shortage of hand sanitiser in New Zealand but it is doing its bit to help. "My personal experience was that I couldn't get it for the team because people are stockpiling it and, excuse my language, that's pretty f****d."

After failing to secure sanitiser for the team, the brewers decided it was time to make their own.

The first batch will be free of charge and Macklow says it will go to everyone in the team, to the Good George pubs, where customers can use it, and to locals in Hamilton who might be in need of sanitiser.

As for the following batches, he is not sure whether it can stay free but hopes to keep it affordable and accessible to anyone who needs it.

Those are details to figure out soon but, for now, the company is going full tilt on figuring out how to distribute it. "We are unsure how distribution is gonna work. I think demand will be really high, unfortunately, we're just working out how we can make loads of it," Macklow said.

"We've reached out to some suppliers who might be able to help us do bigger quantities. This first batch is to fill the gap, then we will work out what we can do."

As is the true Kiwi spirit, Macklow says, for now, they're just head down focused on "getting it done".

News Hub Article

A Waikato craft beer company is using its distillery to produce hand sanitiser in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The pandemic has seen a shortage of sanitiser across New Zealand, with demand for antibacterial products increasing around the world.

Hamilton-basedGood George Brewing is hoping to produce 1000 litres of the liquid using adistillery it had recently been using to make selected spirits.

Co-founderBrian Watson told Rural Today's Dominic George they had the idea after havingtrouble sourcing it for staff and customers.

"Wethought let's just make our own," said Watson. "We saw a distilleryin Scotland was looking at it and they referenced the World Health Organisation(WHO) website which is the standard recipe for especially viral and bacterialhand sanitisers, so we just downloaded it and started making it."


He saidwhile it was a bit disappointing to be using whiskey which had been aging forat least a year to make sanitiser, it was the right thing to be doing. "Wehad our whiskey and gin programe going for a while and we thought the worldneeds hand sanitiser more than it needs gin and whiskey right at the moment,"said Watson. "So we are doing everything we can to change things withinthe distillery part of our business and start smacking out some handsanitiser."


Thecompany, which employs 250 people, had been affected by the impact ofcoronavirus, however had been continuing to produce it's beer products.Meanwhiledairy giant Fonterra is to make 250,000 litres of high-grade ethanol availableto New Zealand companies to help with the shortage. It said it was working withthe Government to prioritise where it would go.


"We'reincreasing capacity with a target of producing an extra 220,000 litres ofethanol," the company said in a statement.

"We'realso working with Gull to test 250,000 litres of their fuel-grade ethanol toensure it can be used for hand sanitiser."

We're now donating this for free to any organisation on the front line that's in need of hand sanitiser. Each case of hand sanitiser is free, all you need to pay for is shipping. If you’re a business, club or organisation that’s reopening we're keen to support you. And if you're keen to support us, feel free to add some beer, cider, gin, or cocktails to your order. 


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